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Look Mark! My Sponge Holder Prototypes

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I finally got around to trying out my own version of Marks wonderful thrown sponge holders. I used my extruder to create the walls and a slab for the base. I did two slightly different versions. The one on the left in each picture I cut the walls all the way to the base, it seemed kind of floppy and unstable, but might firm up ok once drier. The one on the right in each picture I left about a half inch lip connecting the walls, it seems a bit more stable. Not sure if I am going to need to curve the corners of the walls a bit or if the whole thing is going to warp when fired. I guess I'll see won't I!

 

These are still in the wet stage and have them wrapped up overnight, in the morning I will unwrap and loosely drape and start the drying process. I am not going to decorate or do anything special with these as I don't want to invest too much in what could very well be a flawed design. If they both survive the kiln I will decide which I like the look of better and use that as my pattern from here on. Once that's decided I can have some fun with the decorating and texturing like I like to do.

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Those look awesome! I tried some too ... first I cut them when the clay was too floppy, and one started to bend in half outward. Then that must have weakened the center because while decorating, it snapped in half. Lol. Better me than my customer later on! I'd love to see the glazed results!

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these look good, never considered extruding them.  if you use a cheese cutter, a deep one, you can make a U shape cut.  that is the usual kind i see.  somehow, it makes the whole thing sturdier.  don't waste too much time on them, they are a small item with a low cost.  maybe a simple stamp and single color glaze.

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I agree with all of you I am not really pleased with the square slots. I am thinking I'll try making a cardboard pattern that will slip over the tube so I can get consistent cuts. The prototypes are dry enough to handle and I defineitly am not going to use the one that I cut all the way to the base it feels too fragile even at this point. So will focus on leaving a little lip around the bottom and make it curved or something. Still haven't decided on the upper edge shape... Square or curved.

 

Once I get a product I am happy with I will add some textures, transfers and such so they blend with the rest of my stuff.

 

T

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I think the square cuts will warp a bit. I suggest letting the clay firm up before assembly.If you cut to the bottom they can twist in the glaze fire.

I throw mine and wait until they are firmer until cutting-made 40 yesterday.

Mark

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I am working on my own version of this. Not for holding a sponge (I have a genuine Mark C. sponge holder in my kitchen) but for holding business cards in my booth. My first attempt had cutouts with right angles, and it warped pretty bad. My second attempt has shorter and thicker walls. After reading this thread, I just noticed that the cutouts on Mark's version are rounded, not right angles. If my second attempt warps, my third attempt will have rounded cutouts.

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I'm still trying to figure out how to easily get an even sided cut.  I must be spastic becaause all my cuts are quite uneven and wobbly.  I went back and read Mark's post and I have trouble picturing the contraption he built, and I wouldn't be likely to build one anyway since I won't be making many of these.  I was just using a wire...but I don't see how a cheese cutter would work that much better for shaky hands like mine.  Maybe I ought to just give it up.  Any other ideas?

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Flower dry - I cut mine with a ruler and an Exacto knife. The width of the opening was equal to the width of my ruler so I just held it up against the side with one hand and used the edge of the ruler to keep the line straight and cut from top to bottom. I do recommend stopping before you hit the base and leaving a little lip across, it's seems to be a much sturdier form. I didn't curve the bottom but plan to on my next prototype and am thinking of getting a piece of thin cardboard forming it into a tube big enough to slip over the sponge holder and cutting out the curved shape in the cardboard then it will just be a matter of following the cardboard edge with the knife. A fettling knife would most likely work as well as an Exacto. I don't have a cheese cutter nor do I have the harp wire cutter that Mark has so am hoping the cardboard pattern will work.

 

I plan to start the next one tomorrow, I'm anxious to see if I can get a pattern decided on so I can start offering these for the holidays.

 

T

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terry, the "harp" thingy can be as easy as a cake cutter from wilton.  the folks whose things are in every Michael's store.  if you use both hands it makes it steady.

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The harp you are refering to is a mudcutter from mud tools-which are sold at many clay suppliers or you can order direct here.

http://www.mudtools.com/product-category/wiretools/wire-bows/?v=7516fd43adaa

All mud tools are well made and work well-I'm not affiliated with them. I just like most of the tools.

Mark

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don't waste too much time on them, they are a small item with a low cost.  maybe a simple stamp and single color glaze.

 

I am spending less than five minutes decorating each one, apart from the wildflowers one. That I'm doing just for me anyway. I can't handle leaving stuff plain but I realized this is a really good way to test out designs .... small, able to be sold if it comes out well, big enough to see how the glaze and everything will come out, but not a huge amount of time investment if the design tanks. :) 

 

I'm still trying to figure out how to easily get an even sided cut.  I must be spastic becaause all my cuts are quite uneven and wobbly.  I went back and read Mark's post and I have trouble picturing the contraption he built, and I wouldn't be likely to build one anyway since I won't be making many of these.  I was just using a wire...but I don't see how a cheese cutter would work that much better for shaky hands like mine.  Maybe I ought to just give it up.  Any other ideas?

 

I don't care too much about each one being exactly the same as the others but I do want the sides even. My cuts were all horrible before but today I figured it out. First, I took a sgraffito tool, marked one side where I wanted it cut and then the other exactly across. Then I marked again where I wanted the second cut and marked exactly across from there. Does that make sense? I cut one side and then used that piece as a guideline for the length of the other one. I was ridiculously pleased with this. If your throwing is uniform I think a little cut piece of cardboard would work really well too, as suggested. But my stuff is kind of all over the place (see photos) so I do my cuts on a piece-by-piece basis. ;) 

 

Turn them upside down while drying to keep from wrapping after cutting. Give it a try

Wyndham

 

I do turn them upside down, everything if possible, but this was way too floppy. I had to prop them up on each side with some little dishes until they had set enough to stand up on their own and then I turned them upside down. Part of the problem was, I had painted slip on the insides and I forgot that softens the clay back up again. 

 

1. Mountains 2. Leaves 3. Wildflowers 4. Poppies 5. Plain 6. White on red and 7. Weird modern one with drip tray. 

 

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I already hate the plain one and I want to break it. 

Priscilla and LeeU like this

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So I haven't actually made any sponge holders so I'm just spitballing here from a handbuilder's perspective ... Rather than throwing/extruding a cylinder that you then have to cut out evenly,  what about doing this from a slab?  Rectangular slab that you fold taco-like over a form?  You can curve your sides if you don't want them to be flat like a taco while leaving the bottom flat.  And as long as you don't wait too long before forming you can even do your stamping/carving while it's flat...probably wouldn't do that for slip trailing.

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Giselle- To get my sides equal I start out laying the ruler across the top and Mark all 4 places where I will be starting the cuts. Then I hold the ruler against the side inbetween 2 of the marks and cut down from there, do the same on the other side.

 

Yesterday I made a couple more sample pieces and after I drew the lines down the sides I used a little round cookie cutter about an inch from the bottom to cut my curved bottom. Doing this made it super simple and fast and able to repeat and get the same results.

 

Wyndham - I am drying the 2 new samples upside down, so we shall see how they turn out!

 

T

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So I haven't actually made any sponge holders so I'm just spitballing here from a handbuilder's perspective ... Rather than throwing/extruding a cylinder that you then have to cut out evenly,  what about doing this from a slab?  Rectangular slab that you fold taco-like over a form?  You can curve your sides if you don't want them to be flat like a taco while leaving the bottom flat.  And as long as you don't wait too long before forming you can even do your stamping/carving while it's flat...probably wouldn't do that for slip trailing.

 

I've actually made one like this that mounts on the wall, I thought it would be a great space saver if you have a tiny kitchen or inconvenient counter space. I was silly and made it out of B Mix so it sagged in the kiln, but I'm going to try again with a better bodied clay like WS-5 or Hawaiian Red to see if it will hold its' shape better. :) Will share results here.

 

Giselle- To get my sides equal I start out laying the ruler across the top and Mark all 4 places where I will be starting the cuts. Then I hold the ruler against the side inbetween 2 of the marks and cut down from there, do the same on the other side.

 

Yesterday I made a couple more sample pieces and after I drew the lines down the sides I used a little round cookie cutter about an inch from the bottom to cut my curved bottom. Doing this made it super simple and fast and able to repeat and get the same results.

 

 

I'm going to try the cookie cutter idea to get a better bottom to my cuts. Mine are okay but could be better. Lots of sponging and/or sanding. :( 

 

So here are some of my sponge holders! Took them out of the kiln Monday just in time for my show Oct. 10-11 and 17-18. The poppy one is my favorite, but the wildflower one was the first thing that sold!

 

sml_gallery_67168_947_1902676.jpg  sml_gallery_67168_947_871329.jpg  sml_gallery_67168_947_1997784.jpg

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How did you do the white leaves?

 

That one is mishima. If you haven't heard of it, basically you carve or stamp clay and then dab over contrasting slip, let it set up and then gently scrape it off so it's even with the surface of the pot once again. You're left with a striking visual contrast but no texture. It's really fun to do. 

 

Starting around 2:49, this is mishima:

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If they both survive the kiln I will decide which I like the look of better and use that as my pattern from here on. Once that's decided I can have some fun with the decorating and texturing like I like to do.

 

How did they come out?? I want to see. :) 

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I do love doing Mishima, but only wish mine was as 'clean' as the experts'. All about catching the clay in just the right state when carving and scraping back, I guess. Thanks for linking this video - have seen it before, but could really watch it over and over - awesome!

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Sorry I haven't been on here much lately and didn't see you asking for a final result. My excuse is this weekend is our art centers art festival and I am in charge of it this year. So needless to say there's been a bit of extra work.

 

I am pleased with my results so far and here are some pictures for you all to see. These are just the basic ones I have not had time to play with different textures and colors like I do with the spoon rests. The color and patterns shown here are my primary lines.

 

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Terry

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